It seems mother nature wants to be the topic of conversation this week at Big Hook.
As we've reported, it has been a very dry summer in our neck of the woods. This has lead to high fire dangers throughout northwestern Ontario. Dozens of fires have manifested and some have been large enough (like the Keewaywin fire just south of Sandy Lake) to force evacuations, spread smoke throughout the midwestern US., and make international news.
|One of four fires in Opasquia|
Opasquia had been seemingly looked over by the lightning storms, sparring us the additional worry of active fires within our operational boundaries (although we were still affected by thick smoke anytime the wind blew out of the south). That all changed at the end of July, however.
With one nasty storm (powerful enough to bowl over Shadow's "Squirrel Tree" here at Central), we were left with four active fires; three of which were close enough to our camps to boat to. Both the Big Hook staff and the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) were on high alert, making daily flights over the areas to track the progression of these fires. The MNR went so far to set up sprinkler fire suppression systems around Southwest and West Camps in an abundance of caution (a HUGE thanks to the hard working men and women who came in to do so!).
Fortunately, I'm finally getting some "screen-time" and writing this now due to a drenching rain that moved in this morning and is supposed to keep up for the next few days. We are very hopeful that this weather system will extinguish all of these fires completely. It's not ideal for the group here currently, but much better than the alternatives. Not the types to be dissuaded by a little rain anyway, my round of camp checks this morning found all our camps' fishermen out on the water and chasing fish.
|Central Lake 43"|
Speaking of fish, big numbers and big sizes have both been reported. The biggest fish of the week was this 43" pike caught here at Central on a silver colored spoon. Southwest was the hot spot for numbers, outgoing guests ball parking their catch at a "few thousand." The big walleye that I've heard of was a 26"er out of West - I was told the fisherman's face broke the camera, so a photo is not available.
Pike are stacked up amongst the weeds and cabbage. The biggest girls have been located in areas that are thoroughfares or have slight flowage. Spoons like a Johnson's Silver Minnow, Daredevil, or 5 of Diamonds are being favored.
Walleye remain in the 10-15' range and are responding particularly well to white for jig head and/or tail color I was told by outbound guests in Sandy.
I broke the news of the fallen tree to Nathan who in turn broke it to Shadow... I guess she took it well.
Hard to believe there's only a few more weeks of the summer season! Hopefully there's nothing but fishing to talk about next time.
Good luck on the water till then,